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My own children are the first wonder of my world. Grandkids, the second, and my great grandchild, is my third wonder. I think there are currently plans in the works to add more third wonders someday.

I'm so fortunate! This summer I've gotten to see three of my grandkids. In May I flew to Washington D.C. to spend a week with daughter Janelle and her hubby, Ben, and Sarah and Nick. Janelle had to attend some meetings, so while she was busy we visited the Smithsonian, and the National Art Galary. We also went to parks, the zoo, to famous old Williamsburg, VA, and to Monticello, Jefferson's home. The grounds there were delightful. We ate in interesting places, the kids swam several evenings, and we just had lots of fun gabbing and gawking.

We had someone at Montecello take our pictures all together, and the pictures are very washed out and don't look good at all. But I did get some good ones of the kids.

Then, in July, Anneliese came to visit for a weekend. She's selling books to earn part of her tuition this summer, and they are based somewhere near our home. It had been a year since I saw Allie, and now she's taller than I am. (I'm soon going to be the shortest in the family, I reckon.)

Allie was very tired after a heavy school year and just getting started in a new job, but we found time to visit, and made a couple short trips to places to buy a few little things that  she needed. I'm so glad that Allie will have two weeks to go home and see her mom before she has to head back for her senior year at school. I plan to go to her graduation!

                                                                                                                                        Above picture: Nick at Potomac Falls

Sarah by the dollhouse at the Smithsonian                                                  Nick in front of a canon at Civil War site

Janelle and Sarah with Ben                                                                                                       A bad picture is better than none!

The launching of the SS Nicholas (SS = Super Sweet)                                                                          Allie, age 17

           Allie with Papa (Bob) who's in a teasing mood                       Grammy with one of the delightful 2nd wonders

More to come later. . . . .

A Little Vacation

So, we've wandered around on the beaches and a forest, and whale watched (no whales, though). It is so nice that the weatherman was wrong. He predicted Sunday through Wednesday as rain, and Thursday, sunny. We leave on Thursday. But we've had sunshine the whole time except as we travelled on Sunday. And tomorrow? Rain predicted. Here are a few of the pictures I took. Not professional, but fun for me!

Bob and Kizzy on the beach
Rock with a hole
Three rocks and summore....
Bird rookery rock at Cape Meares
Skunk cabbage (2 pictures)
Horsetail in bloom
Trillium on the way to short beach
Sunset from our motel window

Some More Vacation

Yay! We are spending a few days at the beach in Manzanita, Oregon. It is so pretty here! We don't sunbathe or anything like that--instead we hike and walk the beach, and explore the tide pools, and watch for sealions and seals, and enjoy our nighttime encounters with coyotes. we hope we'll spot them again this spring!

It's early spring here, but the Scotch Broom is already in bloom, and the mosses are coming on nicely. This morning we spotted two fire-bellied salamanders. They are small, but so pretty.

These little guys live in boggy areas, and are really slow to get to the other side of the sidewalk. Kizzy was delighted in seeing the salamander, and wanted to paw at it. Keeping her on a close leash when around small things is absolutely necessary!

We keep seeing little knots of crows, and they are boinking noisily, calling back and forth to each other, and sometimes scolding. This morning we saw a ruffled grouse, but I wasn't quick enough to whip out my camera for a picture.

We will walk the loop pathway once again this evening, at sunset. By the time we finish the walk, it will be dark, and we may hear the coyotes calling, and with a little luck, spot them, as we know where they cross as they go on the hunt. It is an interesting feeling being out on a trail and surrounded by them.

Above left: an old fallen tree makes a wonderful habitat for tiny grasses that cluster closely together and reach for the sunlight filtering down between trees that still stand. So I guess there's still a use for some old things, right?
Above right: Gorse, or Scotch Broom is not yet in full bloom yet, but soon will be. This bush is not native to the area, but about 20 years ago was planted in this area to stabilize the shifting sands and make it so a campground could be in this area. The Gorse has taken over and is now killing native trees and grasses, so what saved the place some time ago is now considered an enemy. But it is beautiful. Its blossom is similar to that of a pea blossom.

A Birthday Tribute to Louis Ray Yaw, M.D.

Today is my adoptive dad’s birthday. I post this now, in his honor, and hope to add details to it as I uncover them. He’s been gone many years now, but I still miss him. It is because of him that I am alive and around today.


Louis Ray Yaw, M.D. 1902 – 1971


Louis Ray Yaw was born on March 14, 1902, in the little western town of Centralia, Washington. He died at the age of 69 years on July 7, 1971, in Riverside, California. He was the son of William Henry Yeaw (1840), Brookfield, NY, and Adelphia Bacon (birthdate unknown, possibly 1868), of Effingham County, Illinois.


My father, Louis Ray Yaw, was the youngest child in his family. His siblings were big brother Emmett Bacon Yaw (1890-1954), sister Iris Belle Yaw (1893-1990), and older brother, William Henry Yaw, Jr. 1898-1954.


The surname British name Yeaw, was eventually changed to Yaw, the phonetic spelling of the name.



A Sketchy Biography of Louis Ray Yaw


In Harm’s Way   


At the beginning of his story, Louis was a kindly, loving child, who always tried to be helpful and do good things for others. His father, approximately 62 years-of-age at his birth, was unable to do much around the farm, due to poor health. The brothers all worked hard, helping with chores and upkeep. Big sister Iris (later known to my family as “Auntie”, whose story was told in  an earlier blog) worked in the house, helping her mother with cooking and cleaning and other home tasks.


When Louis was seven or eight years old, he had a memorable experience. His brothers had gone out to round up some horses from the hills and herd them into a corral. Apparently the horses were untamed, and rather rambunctious. Much to his disappointment, because Louis was too little to do a man’s work, he was not allowed to ride along with his brothers, but was told to stay home and work on his regular chores.


After a while, in the distance, Louis heard the thundering of many hooves, so he hurried from the chicken yard to watch the animals come. When he glanced toward corral, he noticed that its heavy gate had closed! If the horses rounded the corner at a gallop, because of the dust being kicked up, he knew his brothers wouldn’t see that the gate was shut. Then, horses and riders alike, could all pile up and be badly injured—or worse.


Without a thought for his own safety, Louis dashed across the farmyard to the heavy pole gate, and pushed hard against it. However, the latch had also closed, and the gate wouldn’t budge! He could hear the horses galloping closer, and had to do something fast. So he climbed up on the gate and with both hands started to work the latch open. With his heart thudding beneath his overalls, the latch finally slid open. He jumped down, and pushed the gate as hard as he could to open it wide—just as the first horses raced through the opening. While he stood inside the corral, wedged between the fence and the gate, the rest of the horses thundered into the corral. Emmett and Henry rode in right behind the horses, and in a cloud of dust, swung the gate shut, as Louis climbed through the fence and to safety.


Adelphia, Louis’ mother, had seen the whole thing, and been sure that Louis would be trampled. Hugging him, she explained to the older boys what he had done to prevent an accident. Gravely, the brothers shook his hand—as though he was a man, and thanked him. No longer did they tousle his hair and tease him about being too little to do things. It was obvious that he had courage, and could think on his feet! Louis felt happy inside, but he did not gloat. Deep inside, though, he realized that he had the courage it takes to do hard things, and he was thankful for that. Such courage would help him many times in his future.



Louis Ray Yaw—The Early Years


The Yaw family moved away from Centralia sometime after Louis was born, but I am not clear about the names of the places they lived after that. I do know that they ended out in a house near Moscow, Idaho. Father, William Henry, Sr., decided to stake out a ranch and plant a large orchard. Other orchards in the area were doing well, and he wanted to provide security for his family after he was gone. His health was failing fast, but his hope was strong that he and his three boys could make a go of the endeavor.


Louis’ mother, Adelphia, was a bright-eyed, small and pleasant woman. She was about half the age of her husband, and also helped on the ranch. As the months passed, William Henry, Sr., was able to do less and less work. Emmett and Henry had both quit school to help out on the family ranch. Louis, being younger, helped, too, but his mother insisted that he attend school, as well.


Eventually both Emmett and Henry married and left to lead their own lives, leaving only Louis to help with the work. When possible, he attended classes, using every spare moment to study. As he watched his father’s health fail, and observed the old country doctor who came to tend to him, the desire to become a doctor was born in Louis’ heart. He dared not mention his dream to others, for how could a poor farm boy take time away from his work long enough to attend school for the required number of years it took to become a physician?


Though Louis, Iris Belle, and their mother did their best to keep the farm going, with limited funds and inadequate help on the ranch, it soon began failing. Somehow, they managed to hang on until William Henry Sr. passed away when Louis was about 18 years old. As they buried his father, Louis accepted the responsibility of caring for his mother, and sister, Iris.


Because the mortgage payment was due, and there was no money in the bank—or under the mattress—Adelphia had to make a hard decision. By selling the ranch to an interested party, she would make a few dollars, and would not need to worry about the mortgage again.


Henry and Emmet had moved to the vicinity of Granger, Washington, where they had each started a small farm. It was a small community where people raised cattle, milked cows, and lots of produce. And so Adelphia, Louis, and Iris Bell, also moved to Granger. With the bit of money she had left after paying the banker what she owed, Adelphia bought a small parcel of land. I understand that Henry and Emmett then built a little cabin for her, though it was never actually completed. However, she was able to enjoy living in it for awhile.



Louis Ray Yaw, Higher Goals


The move to Granger meant many fewer chores, and it freed my father, Louis, to pursue his educational goals. But by the time he was able to start college he was much older than the other students. Funds were hard to come by, but by working for a year felling trees for the forest service, he could save up enough to attend a year of college, if he also had some part-time work while he attended classes. He “applied himself” (which is what he always told me to do when I was a child) by studying hard, and he eventually graduated by alternating study years with work years.


However, his dream of becoming a physician no longer seemed possible, because of his age. So he decided to become an X-ray technician. He soon finished that course, and worked in it for a short time, but the work did not satisfy his desire to do something meaningful for patients. He wanted to relieve their suffering, and spend time in encouraging them—not just take pictures of their bones. The next best thing to being a doctor, he decided, would be to become a nurse. He would work in X-ray to support himself through the nursing course. Then he could really make a difference with the people that he saw!


While taking his nursing course, he had to take a couple years off during to work in the timber, as he needed more money for school, and also some extra to aid to his mother and sister. Felling trees was hard and sometimes dangerous work. The men who climbed to the top of the trees and sliced off limbs had a dangerous job, but it paid good money, and that was what he needed. So he gathered up his courage and worked hard. And that helped him get back into school.


Finally, Louis graduated from nursing, and settled down to his lifework. But as he worked, he saw something that made him quite uncomfortable. He noticed the way that many of the doctors treated the female nurses who worked so hard for them—as though they were servants, or worse, slaves. Many were thoughtless as they spoke crudely in front of the nurses, or cut them down with cruel words.


If I were a doctor, Louis thought, I would be kind to the nurses, even if  they didn’t move as fast as I wanted them to. Doctors don’t need to be unkind.


Louis was happier now that he could help sick men and women during their recoveries. He loved to cheer them with amusing stories, and his dry humor. He enjoyed kidding with the ones who appreciated it. He learned that his way of handling the patients left them trusting him. Because of this he could talk to them about the serious matters in their lives. It was better than he’d been able to do before. But he still wanted to do more.


One night when he was off duty, he sat out on his front porch, thinking. Each day he saw so many sick people that were ill because they didn’t know how to stay healthy. But there was only so much he, as a nurse, could say to them when they were in the hospital. If only he had his own medical practice! Then he would be able teach them how to keep healthy, instead of just going to a doctor when they got sick. But what more could he do? He was already 34 years old! So Louis sat on the porch, writhing with his desires versus what he knew to be possible. There simply didn’t seem to be a workable answer. But finally the decision was made. His desire was so great, he knew he would never be satisfied if he didn’t step out and just do it. One way or another, he would become a doctor. So he applied to medical school, was accepted, and spent his last dollar on medical books, attended classes, and worked his nursing during odd shifts just to keep bread on the table.


It was a long haul. Finally, at the age of 45, after having married and adopting me, he received his diploma and became a full-fledged physician. With joy he hung his “shingle” on the modest door of his combination home and office in Placerville, California. He was so happy that he’d followed his dream, for over the years after he started his practice, he helped many people to become and stay healthier, and to learn that there are more important things in life than looking being a slave to the mighty dollar.


Doctor Louis Ray Yaw was never in practice for the purpose of getting rich. He had a burden on his heart for all people—his patients were the important thing. If they were ill at night, they didn’t need to go to the emergency room. He went to care for them in their homes. If they needed help, they got it. If they couldn’t pay his modest fee, he wrote it off. Some, too proud for “charity”, paid him with produce, yard work, or in some other homely way. He received each payment with a big thank you that left the payer feeling good deep down. One family paid him for his years of service by giving him their old Hammond organ. No matter that no one in our family could play it! No one was ever turned away because they had no money That’s not how a doctor who grew up as a farmer boy would do.


What money Louis had, he shared. Over the years, he opened his home to poor college students who needed a place to stay, and helped them with their tuition. It was his goal to help others finish school earlier than he’d been able to, so they could get out and help also make life easier for others. This man, my father, hadn’t a selfish bone in his body. He truly was a good man.

Crocus and The Old Wooden Indian

Today was shopping day for Grandma's and my things. Grandma makes the lists, and I do the footwork. After 2.5 hours of hurrying up and down aisles to collect all the bits and pieces, and after delivering Grandma's groceries to her, and putting mine away, I was ready for a break. So I grabbed Kizzy's leash and we took another walk. It was so sunny today--warm enough just for a light turtleneck shirt, and there was a warmish breeze. Perfect.

We saw a nice cluster of crocus, and I squatted in a neighbor's driveway to snap some shots of them.

I think the crocus is such a merry flower! And looking at it closely, it has so much detail. Intricate beauty. Masterpieces of artistry. Brave little things they are, to stretch out and up and bloom even before Spring is here. And though they share their glory wholeheartedly, they last such a little while, for once the warmth comes, they just sort of melt away.

We also saw an apple tree in bloom--the first I've seen this season. I couldn't smell its perfume, but I know that will come--and so will the bees in their frantic effort to gather nectar so they can make honey to feed their beelets. Bees work hard, too, and much of the time humans are the ones that benefit from their labors. 

I feel a bit sorry that the tree is blossoming now, for there will most likely be at least one more hard freeze, and all those blossoms will probably be killed. But such is way of nature.

On this particular walk I pass a very interesting (to me) mailbox. Well, it isn't the mailbox that is interesting, but the pole. Here 'tis. I'd like one like that!

In some parts of our world, Spring is here. In other parts, the start of Autumn has come. Whichever part you live in, take time to enjoy the beauties of your seasons!

He faithfully stands watch there every day. Never moves a muscle, never cracks a smile. But still, I like to see him!

The Old Wooden Indian

Spring Cleanup

It's here again! Spring cleanup time again. The time for out with the old, in with the new! We are busy scraping up all the old leaves from our huge maple trees. Don't get me wrong, we didn't leave raking until now. We've just gotten thrifty and use many of those leaves as mulch for our roses and some other flower beds. By now they're wet and tamped down, and they have kept roots warm.

So far I've
  • helped gather and stack 4 huge piles of tumbleweeds to be burned
  • cleaned three flower beds
  • pruned 3 rosebushes
  • filled 3 huge yard debris bags with wet leaves
I still have
  • 7 garden beds to clean up
  • 4 roses to dig up, then replant with new bushes
  • 10 rose bushes to prune
  • 1 rose to transplant
  • chip all garden beds
Now, lest you think I have to do this all alone, I don't. Bob helps on the weekend. I just keep on plugging away a bit at a time, as I'm able.
Our biggest problem is the gophers. They have gone wild. They don't seem to sleep in the winter! And Kizzy wants to dig them out, so we have holes all over the place. The lawn is another thing. Any ideas how to get rid of gophers??? Nothing we've tried has worked! Still, it's joyful working outside after the long winter!

Frosty Breath

Today I saw a sparrow's breath
As he sat panting on a twig
Of the berry bush
Outside my window.

The cold is crisp enough
To have left crystals
On my window pane, even though
The sun shines full upon it.

What a cold life the birds have to lead!
They don't grow fat and lazy with ease,
But hurry from place to place
In their endless search for food.
And still they sing.


The birds inspire me as I watch their antics. No distance is too far for them to fly, no seed too tiny for their enjoyment. It seems they never become discouraged, but just flit here and there, doing what they need to do. I want to be that way, too!

A Pet's 10 Commandments

I was digging through my files this morning, looking for something I'd misplaced, and came across this newspaper clipping I've saved for awhile. Read it again. Lump in throat. So, though I don't have the reference of who wrote it in the first place, I'd like to share it.

Beginning of newspaper quote---------

A Pet's 10 Commandments
  1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you will be painful.
  2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.
  3. Place your trust in me. It's crucial for my well-being.
  4. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, and your entertainment. I have only you.
  5. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I'll understand your voice and energy when you speak to me.
  6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.
  7. Before you hit or strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet I choose not to.
  8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, I've been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.
  9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You will grow old too.
  10. On my ultimate journey, go with me please. Never say you can't bear to watch. Don't make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you're there, because I love you so.
Take a moment today to say thank you for your pets. Enjoy and take good care of them. Life would be a less joyful experience without them and the things we can learn from them. We need not wait for Heaven, to be surrounded by hope, love and joy. It's here on earth and has 4 legs! (or less). Remember, our pets can't do a lot of things for themselves and they depend on us to make their life a quality life.

End of newspaper quote------------

So, there you have it. Not much else I can add. I just wanted to share. . . .

Top left: Kizzy out on the trail
Top right: Kizzy watching quail
Bottom left: Synjee, our Lynxpoint Siamese cat in the garden for her last time. Died at age 13.
Bottom right: Synjee and  Bob saying "Bye" on that sad day. He had to go to work. I stayed with Synjee while she "went to sleep"

A Good Deed and Then Some

I'm touched. Today I read an article written about a group of homeless people who dug into their raggedy pockets and donated to Red Cross all the money they had--to aid the Haiti victims! Notice, they donated what they had, not what they could afford. Though the total came to only $14.64, to them it was like giving a fortune. It makes the amount that I gave seem pretty paltry. Could it be that those homeless folk have a better idea of what the Haitians are going through, since they live in poverty themselves?

A famous quote says, "It is better to give than to receive." It sounds like those homeless people believe that with all of their hearts. Enough to move them to action. Blessings to them.